Monday, June 9, 2014
Where's the Peace? - - - - - - - - Psalm 86:14-16 - - - - - - - - Romans 14:17 - - - - - - - - - - - GMG, Wk: 1, Friday - - - - - - - -
Ode to peace!
But where to find peace?
O, my soul, the answers to peace must be in the Word of Truth......, but where?
"For the kingdom of heaven is ...... righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.... - so then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.... - do not destroy the work(er) of God (because..... of different opinions about what is right.......)" Romans 14:17, 19, 20a (NIV/NAS/NETBible)
So often, we want to say in our 'self-talk': "What can I do to obtain peace?"
Looking closely at this sort of self-talk, in which many of us have engaged, one of the main problems clearly turns out to be the pronoun. Is the instruction in Romans 14 above all about what 'I' should do, or is it about what 'we' should do? .........'so then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another......'
But more than that, the focus ought to be, "What can we do in the Holy Spirit!"
O, my soul, do you know as well as you ought, what we can do in the Holy Spirit?
For He can do far and above that which 'I' or 'we' are ever going to be able to do!
Ooooohhhhh, but...... backing up for a moment...... looking back at what goes wrong........ in our 'self-talk':
'I' terminology can lead to problems such as selfishness, idolatry of various sorts, coveting, and self-righteousness ----- 'we' terminology can lead to problems such as self-righteous Pharisee'isms, etc. ------
Wretched man that I am, who will set me free from the bondage of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ, who has set you free! (Romans 7:24...)
Sure enough, the 'I' is wretched! But, O, my soul......., Jesus has set you free! You are free from the wretched one that is 'I'! So......
Stop the 'self-talk'!
Engage prayer! Engage scripture talk! Engage 'soul talk'!
Engage in Spirit walk! Learn the kingdom walk! Learn the Jesus walk! For the kingdom of heaven is ...... righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.........
............ well........... and what?
What is the 'righteous' thing we should be pursuing through a Jesus walk, a kingdom walk, a Spirit walk?????
......pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another......
But how do we get there? What is it that gets in the way of our efforts to find peace?
Do we have a desire to build up one another - you know *each* one? O, my soul! Who does God not love? He said it Himself, "For God so loved the world......!"...... and "Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey all things I have taught you!" Soul! Who did He not call you to disciple!? Soul! What is worthy of getting in the way of that!? Who do you *think* is so beneath you that the path to peace is over your head, utterly beyond your reach?
Do you miss out on peace that way? If you do, where is the righteousness and the joy?
Father, God Almighty, who made heaven and earth, who put a desire to make disciples in my heart years ago..... who left me aching to reach the nations........ but who called me to wait! For you are God Almighty - who shakes the foundations, and brings the nations jumbled upon nations! And you had plans for me! Things I must do before you jumbled the nations together 'just-so' ...........
Help me to seek your peace yet again today!
O my soul! Do you have a willingness to pursue the things which make for peace? Hallelujah, that I do!
But........... Now the time has come! So now! O, my soul! Add perseverance to your faith!
Carry the light!
His people perish for lack of knowledge!
The destruction of peace comes with another destruction........:
How much peace is there if the work(er) of God is being destroyed? How much righteousness or joy is there if the work(er) of God is being destroyed without our having lovingly pursued the things which are able to make for peace (not that we can force anyone/anything into peace - but 'in as much as it is possible' with us we ought to seek peace with all men)?
If a work(er) of God is off course and heading away from righteousness, is that work(er) inclined to be heading towards peace and joy? If not, what should our response be?
Asking the Holy Spirit to help us share the peace and joy that comes mingled with righteousness perhaps?
How much righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit have we obtained if we have not pursued the things which the Holy Spirit wishes to show us regarding righteous, peaceful, and joyous ways of seeking to build up another who is swerving off course to any degree?
How often does each of us need the Holy Spirit to come alongside each one, mingling righteousness, peace and joy together?
So then should we pursue being "right"? - - -
Or then should we pursue being filled with "joy"? - - -
No....... we need to pursue enough humility to follow the Holy Spirit - to join *in* the Holy Spirit's efforts to mingle righteousness, peace, and joy in one another's lives - each of us, by the other's faith - encouraged!
In that way, and in that way alone, can we mingle our hearts with God's righteousness, peace, and joy in His full measure in this world.
Peace is one of the aspects of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). The fruit of the Spirit is something God expects His people to produce (Matthew 21:43).
So there it is, God has expectations.
But as it turns out, our expectations get in the way.
All too often, people who have been taught to have faith in a democratic, fair, or otherly utopian life to any greater *or* lesser degree, are frustrated and thus out of reach of peace, because, while they may or may not believe in God, and they may or may not even have faith in God for many things, they place their faith in fairness or etc. They become so hurt by the injustices of life that, until they learn to place their faith in God alone - knowing that the God in whom they trust will not fail them in spite of the griefs and trials before them - that there is a certain something that comes between them and .... peace.
God, arrogant men are rising against me,
a gang of brutes is seeking my life,
and to you they pay no attention.
But you, Adonai,
are a merciful, compassionate God,
slow to anger
and rich in grace and truth.
Turn to me, and show me your favor;
strengthen your servant, save your slave-girl's son. (Psalm 86:14-16)